After Days of COVID Duty, Could We Please Quarantine to Avoid Further Spread?

Having no quarantine for a resident doctor who has worked in the COVID facility for a duration of 2 weeks is absurd.

My Report
3 min read

Video Producer: Varsha Rani
Video Editor:
Abhishek Sharma
Chetan Bhakuni and Namita Chauhan

We are resident doctors at Lok Nayak Hospital and we want to inform that as per the new guidelines by the Union Health Ministry released on 9 January, regular quarantine of healthcare workers after performing duty in COVID-19 areas is not warranted.

To not give a healthcare worker some cool-off period after a burnout of 14 days is very unethical. It is taking a toll on the mental health of the healthcare population at large and a mental epidemic is under the wraps. It is going to uncover very soon.

Having no quarantine for a resident doctor who has worked in the COVID facility for a duration of two weeks is very absurd. Because this virus has an infectivity rate that is higher than the Delta variant, which was so notorious in the second wave.

This puts doctors like me at high risk of catching the virus. We might contract this virus even with all protective equipment in place. Even after contracting this virus, they are not taking into account the basic nature of the disease.

There is a window or a latent period during which the virus will multiply and will cause symptoms after you have contracted the virus. There is a latency of around 24 to 72 hours.

Asking the healthcare workers soon after their COVID duties to go and work in the community is not only putting those populations at risk but also putting healthcare workers' families at risk.

Many healthcare workers have lost family members and their families are just too afraid. We are putting at risk people who have been trying to not ​get infected by taking all protective measures.


Healthcare System in Crisis

In the first wave and second wave we were given a 14-day quarantine break, but nowadays, what has happened is because of the lack of doctors, we have not received our juniors and our seniors are also going for their examinations. This way there is a huge burden on the second years who are the only ones working right now.

There have been times when we’ve been working for like a month at a stretch because we don’t have enough doctors or facilities.
Going through COVID’s first wave, second wave, and now the third wave, it's really exhausting for us, both physically as well as mentally because we have to be there with the patients. It has taken a mental toll on our well-being. So, naturally, we all need a break and a ‘cool off’ period during those continuous duty hours. That is the least expected out of everyone.

We are being asked to enter the community the very next day, which is risky for both the community around us and for the near and dear ones. Also, for the patients that we go and serve the next day.

So, we wish and hope that government and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will take some necessary steps in this regard so that doctors and patients can be in a symbiotic relationship and have the best possible outcomes as far as everyone is concerned.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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